Election lawyer urges media members to register for early votingBy Fat Reyes
INQUIRER.net, Radyo Inquirer 990AM
MANILA, Philippines—Election laywer Romulo Macalintal on Wednesday urged members of the media to “go out and register” for them to take part in the early voting for the 2013 polls.
“Ang mahalaga ay sana kayo naman ay magparegister. Baka kasi hindi pa kayo registered voter. Hindi rin kayo makakagampan ng inyong pananagutan sa pagboto. Nakakapanghinayang naman itong pinaglaban ninyo (What’s important is you register. You might not be a registered voter yet. You won’t be able to exercise your right to vote. It’s such a waste of what you’ve fought for),” Macalintal said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer’s Erwin Aguillon.
Macalintal made the call after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) granted on Tuesday the petition filed by media practitioners to give them the same voting privileges enjoyed by soldiers, policemen and other government officers and employees performing election duties under the local absentee voting.
The petition only covered voting for national posts.
Macalintal, who filed the petition in behalf of the media members, reiterated that more than 200,000 media practitioners would benefit from the granting of the petition, and clarified that not only the broadcasters and writers, but also the members of the crew and make-up artists who would have duties during the elections, were included.
He said that the Comelec would be holding a meeting with members of the media in November to iron out the details of the implementing rules and regulations for the procedures.
He added however that he had made a draft of the said rules and gave it to the Comelec for review and revisions.
He said that under the initial rules, the early voting period may be set from April 20 to April 30, or about two to three weeks before the start of the regular voting period.
He added that for those who were registered in the provinces, they would be allowed to vote in designated areas in Manila and their respective precincts in the provinces would be informed that they had already voted.
“Ang pangalan mo ay ipapadala sa presinto kung saan ka nakarehistro para masabi doon at maregister under the absentee voting under media (Your name will be sent to the precinct where you are registered so the said precinct will be informed that you are under the absentee voting for media),” he said.